The North Carolina Museum of Art has more than a dozen galleries holding works from around the world and a variety of art types. Originally starting with 139 works from Europe and America, the museum has grown to include African, Egyptian and Jewish works of art while also expanding European and ancient American holdings. With 30 added Rodin sculptures, the NCMA leads the holdings of this artist’s work in the southeastern United States. Other galleries hold everything from Renaissance paintings to contemporary photography. Exhibitions also run at the museum for several months at a time for guests to visit.
Outside the museum is the 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, recently expanded and featuring monumental public art installations inspired by the natural world and preservation of landscapes, including the Gyre rings, Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky and Askew, as well as several recreational activities, picnic spots and wooded trails.
Tours are given daily if you or a group would like to learn more about the collections.
When it’s time for lunch, you can stop by the Iris restaurant located inside the museum, specializing in contemporary American cuisine in a modern setting. (Also open for dinner! Order from items such as the Iris Burger, Seared Scallops with Red Curry Lemongrass Broth, Seafood Burrito and more.)
For those interested in researching art periods or artists, the Art Reference Library holds over 40,000 volumes of books and available catalogues and databases. Kids to seniors can enjoy the many programs occurring throughout the year, including classes, concerts, films, camps and workshops.
Before you leave, head by the Museum Store, where items based on the museum’s collections and exhibits are available to purchase, perfect as souvenirs or gifts for family and friends. Admission is free, while some fees are given for specific programs, exhibitions and large tours. Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 10am-5pm; Fri., 10am-9pm; Sat.-Sun., 10am-5pm; Mon., closed.